Every year, we put up our Top 50 Games over the course of a week at Christmas. Then a few weeks later, we put up yours, based on the same voting system. This year, we thought we'd let you go first for a change. So here it is: your Top 50 Games of 2008. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and sorry if we were unable to use your comments on the winning games, but there are hundreds, and we've only got so much webspace. Enjoy!
50. Crysis Warhead
EA / Crytek / PC
What we said: "Crysis Warhead is probably the Back to the Future II of videogames: rather than totally transform the story and setting, it returns to the original narrative, exploring it from a different angle; once again, the results are sharper, meaner, and have a lot more for you to think about (although, thankfully, there are no dodgy CGI sharks or Elisabeth Shue performances)."
azurelas_2 says: It set a new graphical standard in videogames.
rowsdower says: A tight, beautiful and frantically action-packed standalone expansion to Crysis, this game was worthy of the title and worthy of being one of the very best shooters on the PC. The game hit the ground running from the very first moment and the pace never slackened until the credits rolled. You couldn't ask for more in a shooter, you really couldn't.
Avaloner says: The game is short in length but definitely not short on excitement. Packs as much punch as any other full length FPS you would care to mention.
49. Ninja Gaiden 2
Microsoft / Tecmo's Team Ninja / Xbox 360
What we said: "The most balletic, explosive combat game we've seen in years - especially if you were a fan of the last one. Just don't expect it to be as good as its predecessor, allow for the fact that sometimes you're going to have to grit your teeth and accept that some bits just aren't fun - and always remember, if you have to throw a controller, your sofa's cushions make a better target than your TV."
Defrost says: Because some games should just be hard.
Ryze says: Very impressive. Not especially better than the original, but they fixed the bloody camera controls! Same they didn't fix the AI for the camera while they were at it.
ParanoidZombie says: As far as gameplay goes, this is one of the best ever. If you manage to master the combat system and the tricky camera, this is also the most visceral, choreographic and stylish beat-'em-up you'll ever play. It's probably the best pure beat-'em-up ever made, but it has nothing to do with a casual game, or an action-adventure one: this is pure, relentless hardcore slice 'n' dice. Despite a few annoying technical issues, NG2 is in my opinion better than Ninja Gaiden Black, one of my favorite games ever.
AceMaCool says: The most intense and exciting game I played all year. Slammed by critics for being 'cheap', this was only apparent on harder difficulties and by the time you get to play at Master Ninja level you should be good enough to handle it.
48. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
KOEI / Atlus / PS2
What we said: "There will always be those for whom story-led gaming and turn-based battles are a complete turn-off, and for those people, Persona 3 is unlikely to be a Road to Damascus experience. For the rest of us, though, this is one of the finest RPGs on the PS2 - and that, in itself, is a huge accolade. If your PS2 has been gathering dust, now is definitely time to bring out the old warhorse - and if this is its last gallop, then at least it's also one of its finest."
von_Doll says: Utterly different, providing you're a MegaTen virgin.
inhabitant says: That great roguelike surprise of the year.
capybara says: Social sim meets dungeon crawler, with both elements excuted perfectly. Nothing beats the ghoulish feeling of exploiting people to gain more powerful persona. The localisation was also a triumph with the script retaining much of its wit and charm.
MJ says: A bizarre mix of a dating game and a JRPG - I loved playing it, my wife (non-gamer) loved watching it. Had not heard of it before reading the EG review - thank you!
The_Inquisitor says: Charming and compelling, you feel a need to do your best and take care of the characters.
Hunam says: I think the worst thing about being a teenager is that you hate the best time of your life, school. Older and wiser we all wish we'd made a better go of it and therein lies the charm of Persona 3. You go to school, chat up all those girls and then go home and study. Sounds fun no? Oh yeah, you also pretend to kill yourself so you can summon monsters to kill other monsters and the devil is hanging around somewhere. A bit like P.E.
47. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Microsoft / Rare / Xbox 360
What we said: "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is not a platform game. The game it has become instead demands thoughtful, exciting challenges that inspire the player to pitch in and help get the most out of each level, but it fails to provide them, and even though it's worth persevering with for the occasional hurdles race, egg-and-spoon and a game-world in aptly Rare form, ultimately it's a brilliant shell with a mostly hollow centre."
Oceadge says: Because it updates a classic game creating something new but bringing back all the characters and wonderful music. The design of the worlds is unique. See those giant cogs in the distance? You can actually swim out, climb to the top and take a photo! Most underrated game of the year in my opinion.
Chinster says: Absolutely brilliant return to form by Rare, deserved to sell bucketloads but didn't. More fun than being let loose in a sweet shop at night with no one around but you.
powderfinger1971 says: As with Fable II, just had so much fun with this game. We sometimes forget we play games for relaxation, not to get even more wound up.
Sam81 says: Very refreshing gameplay and very cool vehicle-building mechanic. I find myself always discovering new things while exploring the world, it looks lush and plays well. My only problem would be the lack of voice-overs...
46. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Sony / Ready at Dawn / PSP
What we said: "It's obvious that Chains of Olympus gets things absolutely spot on in terms of look and feel, and it's quite an incredible achievement in all manner of ways: the absence of loading times, the excellent controls, and the slick visuals contribute to it being one of the best examples of how to make a game for the PSP. It's not quite the full God of War experience, but none of this detracts too significantly from a game that is well worth buying despite its compromises."
coxyclan says: An amazing achievement for a handheld.
zolika says: PSP had a sad year, but this game kicks ass.
peterfll says: Smashing fun, proved you didn't need twin analogue sticks to make it work, and proved how the PSP is being criminally under-used by everyone else when a title like this can make it dazzle.
mezzomorto says: This was the first PSP game that made me feel that I wasn't playing on a second-class platform.
45. MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
Sony / Evolution / PS3
What we said: "Too much of your time is spent grinding second-choice metal in search of elusive pace, or cursing imperious AI and unpredictable catastrophe, and in the battle between the game's infrequent but electrifying highs and its frustrating lows, the result is too close to stalemate to match the first game's understated achievement."
Haggar says: Great fun, great online and Monster Trucks. Monster Trucks.
pickles4uk says: I never thought they would be able to better themselves after Motorstorm, but Pacific Rift was so much more fun. With a wider range of tracks, water, plants and lava this game certainly outdid its predecessor.
jonsaan says: Arcade racing at it's absolute finest. Improve's on all the minor annoyances of the first game to produce a game that shines like a jewel in the PS3's crown.
Machetazo says: It's more MotorStorm! New for '08 is a broader and more diverse track layout, and an extra strategic layer, thanks to the heat and cooling factors added by the effect of driving through water, or particularly high-temperature locales. But, even with the new Bigfoot vehicle, it's still raw, high-impact MotorStorm, and now, you can unlock new visual customiation items, and Trophies while you're racing. The Island creates thrilling varied and fast-paced vehicular conflcts, across rugged and engaging terrain concentration will be tested.
44. Prince of Persia
What we said: "Yet another poor game planted in a bed of fantastic technology and interesting mechanics, which, rather than empowering the player to solve interesting problems in new and exciting ways, merely sends you for a long and elaborate stroll through a beautiful world devoid of challenge or variation, and marred by excessive repetition."
ChthonicEcho says: A phenomenal ending and an enchanting storyline presented via artistically novel graphics overshadow repetitive gameplay, easiness of which allows the player to enjoy the game instead of mashing the buttons out of frustration.
darleysam says: This game is just a sheer joy to play. Yes the platforming feels easier than the previous games, but it is still exhilarating to fling yourself through the staggeringly gorgeous environments. The combat, by comparison, is unquestionably good. It is fluid and cinematic, as fun to play as it is to watch. Having Elika step in to save you instead of a Save/Load screen is a great thing, too. Lastly, the characters were a long way from how they had been portrayed in the previews, as one-dimensional cheese machines. The Prince was, in his own way, a charming and compelling character, and Elika worked well as a foil to this. Ultimately, I felt it ended on a strong note.
TedMoseby says: Simple: the relationship between the Prince and Elika is wonderfully realised - even a simple game of 'I Spy' turned into a laugh out loud moment. Sure the gameplay is a bit repetitive, but I love running around the world with them.
43. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
What we said: "Vegas 2 feels like an incremental expansion, despite the success of the character-creation feature. The annoying thing is that with a bit more investment these quickfire sequels would feel like true follow-ups, which would go a long way with those of us who've been following the series for the past ten years. As it is, we'll still go to Vegas, but we'll be grumpy on the way home."
Iliad says: As a Rainbow fanatic, this is a much more polished game with a multiplayer mode to match the single-player looks... finally. The online modes and especially Terrorist Hunt have ensure this is my most played game... until the next one.
lfc_lad says: Back to its best. A classic shooter.
Putty Man says: The fact I persevered long enough to play through this on Realistic says it all really. Fantastic game with great online modes, Terrorist Hunt being the standout.
Commodore75 says: For those of us who never bothered with the first one (or simply prefer others to work out the kinks before we take the plunge), this is what couch co-op should be like.
42. No More Heroes
Rising Star / Grasshopper Manufacture / Wii
What we said: "In a fight between games as metaphor and games as entertainment, we need to feel like the winners. There are times in No More Heroes when we don't, but there are enough occasions when we do, and by the time you're the best assassin in town you'll either be glad that the destination was always worth it or arguing that it deserves another mark. Either way, you do at least win."
Evolution says: Games by Suda51 probably shouldn't work, but they do. While they are always a bit too left-field to ever be considered great games, they seem to fall into their own category as gaming's own 'arthouse' style.
DGumshoe says: More fun to play with a Beam Katana than in any Star Wars game.
Lujo says: We need more of this. The story makes no sense whatsoever, but I dare you to call it bad. The dialogue is wierd, comical and disturbing, just as the characters. Travis Touchdown is one of the most memorable characters ever created, and as a gamer you will probably find it hard not to identify with him. The only part of the game that doesn't hold up just as well as everything else is the gameplay, but the game never really suffers from that, because no matter how lacking it is, you never get bored, and the story and characters help you keep the motivation up. Otakus, lightsabres, cult references, cel-shading, psychotic assassins, samurai, crotch-lasers, sexually suggestive 18 year-old female, sexually suggesting 60-year-old male, drunken fighting masters, and family connections that fail to make any sense at all? Yup, it's Suda 51.
psychokitten says: A difficult choice, No More Heroes is a game I love, but it's very flawed. A great sense of humour, lots of gore, and some fantastic bosses/characters make it all worthwhile.
SirClive says: One of the only Wii games that gets a look in. Didn't try to tack on too many motion controls and allowed it to become a retro-styled classic.
41. The World Ends With You
Square Enix / DS
What we said: "It's bold, inspiring and bubbling over with dozens of ideas, any one of which would be cause for celebration in most games, but the over-reliance on a daunting sink-or-swim combat system that will leave many players gasping for breath ultimately counts against it. A truly brilliant game, it's just a shame that it couldn't ease off on the information overload and make that brilliance easier for everyone to appreciate."
letmelive says: Unique. A breath of fresh air from Square-Enix after a year of fairly mediocre and standard titles.
Eraysor says: The most original RPG I have ever played. I'm pretty sure an alternate reality version of a Tokyo shopping district in which people fight to the death has never been covered before.
Meho says: Okay, this is a game that uses modern day Tokyo as setting rather than the fantasy/science-fiction ones we have learned to expect. It also forces the characters to change fashion trends in the Shibuya ward if they mean to survive and progress. They also have to be careful what they eat and when in order to be combat-ready. Not to mention that the game demands the player to shout into the microphone for certain combat techniques to be implemented and that this actually does not make you feel like t***. But the biggest thing about it? You are required to fight two different fights, using two different characters, on two different screens with two different control schemes at the same time. The amazing thing about the game is not that you actually manage to do this after some time but that you actually enjoy it immensely and, in the absence of the dreaded random combat, you actually go out of your way to actively look for trouble!
TheMoonRat says: I'm not a collectable kind of person; I play a single-player game through once, finish it, and move on. So why on earth do I now have a back catalogue of DS games to play because I'm sitting through trying to get every pin, every collectable, defeat every monster at every level? It has a deceptively simple story on first play-through that may not make sense, but has a brilliant mechanic for making you go through the game a second time to fill in pieces of the story. The battles at first can be overwhelming with two screens, but you really can adjust it to be as easy or as difficult as you want; and either way you are rewarded.
40. Rez HD
Q Entertainment / Xbox Live Arcade
What we said: "Back in the day we said of the original: 'When Rez eventually turns up cheaply it will become indispensable, but until then it's a luxury.' Xbox Live Arcade is, then, our modern printing press: digital distribution transforming the expensive and exclusive into the affordable and inclusive. Joy has rarely come so reasonably priced and, whatever the price, videogames, rarely come so joyful. Indispensable, then."
Markusdragon says: Rez HD somehow stands between the realms of the pattern-memorising shooter, the music creation toy, and the movie Tron, and outdoes all three of them. Best thing on the XBLA.
felderpony says: Sorry, someone has to vote for this! I've had Rez on every console its been released on. I personally think this is one of the all time greats that everyone should have.
CapnCloudchaser says: It was released on my birthday! Best birthday orgasm ever.
39. Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution
What we said: "This slick new Civilization may be more reduction than Revolution, but it's easily one of the most distinctive games on 360 and PS3. I can't see myself playing much more of the single-player, but I genuinely cannot wait to war over landmass with a few like-minded chums."
Snakehips76 says: Bite-sized chunks of Civ with seemingly endless replay factor. Genius.
jiffmcgriff says: Had me in a fit of interest. Its mix of child like colouring and the interesting bits of history meant I found it difficult to stop marching my civilization to victory.
pasiip says: It was a game that forced me to get 1000/1000. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
ScarOnTheSky says: The game that got my girlfriend addicted to the Xbox 360.
Pogle says: It was really good on the PS3 but I enjoyed it most portable, on the DS.
38. Football Manager 2009
What we said: "While it may not be quite the finished article, Football Manager 2009 still has more than enough quality and strength in depth to be considered championship-winning material."
davidbfc says: Every year they bring out another addictive instalment and only add extras, such as the 3D game engine, when they are sure that it works well enough and never before. They deserve full credit.
Raymeister says: You see the badly animated, pixellated player with the bald head? That's Freddie Ljungberg, your latest bargain signing. No really, it's him. The 3D match engine and Sensible Soccer player likenesses add so much to what was already a brilliant game. Bizarrely, my girlfriend seems to tolerate me watching tiny players slide around a pitch more than she did when I watched dots dance around a screen and for that SI Games, I salute you.
vaggabond says: First one I have gotten into in a couple of years and I'm in my third season now of my game, and still going strong - say no more! The 'one more game' factor is back for me!
tincanrocket says: The less said about the release debacle the better, but this is still the best FM/CM release in years. The move to a (shonky) 3D engine has made the game even more compelling. Seems a little more forgiving than past releases, though.
37. Guitar Hero: World Tour
What we said: "It's easy to imagine Guitar Hero World Tour players tearing through the set-list and then - thanks to the cross-compatibility of instruments - going back to the shop to pick up a Rock Band 2 solus disc in a few months, which also grants access to the Harmonix game's downloadable content archive. The small number of people who bought Rock Band in May or September can do the opposite and buy the Guitar Hero World Tour disc to take advantage of the Recording Studio and extra songs."
RuySan says: The tracklist was mostly awful (to many recent irrelevant emo/rock FM bands). But it's still a great party game (provided that you won't get tired of Livin' on a Prayer and Hotel California soon). I haven't played Rock Band, so I have to choose this.
markopoloman says: The full kit is very, very good. Much better than Rock Band.
MrBeast says: Just keeps getting better and better. Cracking instruments, great setlist, fantastic set-up. A party essential.
Kafkaesque says: The drums are actually like proper drums and can take a beating, huge catalogue of songs to go at. I can't think of a series of games with greater longevity in my gaming collection, and this is a welcome addition.
cyacomini says: I'd have put Rock Band in here if it weren't for GH's far superior drum-kit. The track listing too although a bit of a mixed bag can certainly hold its own against the others in the same league. Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again" is playing in my head as I type this...
36. Race Driver: GRID
What we said: "GRID is a great success: the single-player is varied without being confusing; the online multiplayer supports 12 players and damage modelling, reducing the number of first-corner pile-ups; tracks and cars are well chosen and recreated; and Flashback allows you to race with the same determination on lap three as you did on lap one, mitigating risk in a manner of which other racing game developers will soon be envious. Even if GRID doesn't give Codemasters parity with PGR in US sales, as the developer hopes, it's a fine achievement and an early leader in the race to be 2008's best driving game."
zolika says: Drifting is awesome in this game.
Trundlez says: Underhyped and usually overlooked, one of the best racing games I've played. A different style to Forza or Gran Turismo which is what makes it stand out.
Chimpus says: TOCA 08.
Jay-ITFC says: Quality wheel-banging racing from the legends at Codies. Fantastic visuals and gameplay. Can't wait to see what they do with the F1 licence. Just make it a pure sim!
stephen says: Le Mans 24 hours? Yes please. Followed by Le Mans in snow and ice in a 1930s race car with absolutely no driver aids to keep you safe.
etyek says: City racing done right compared to PGR4's disappointments. The flashback feature should be compulsory for all racers from now on.
GaidenZero says: The AI really made this driving game standout - it made it feel fair. The varied disciplines gave it longevity too.
Capcom / Clover Studios / Wii
What we said: "During the eighteen months since Okami's original release, nothing else has turned up that makes us admire it any less - not even Nintendo's own Twilight Princess comes close to the astonishing cohesion of form and content, style and substance, that makes Okami so extraordinary. It's as well-designed as Zelda, as involving as Final Fantasy, and as beautiful as anything you've ever seen; it belongs with the best of the Zelda series at the very apex of its genre."
figaro7 says: When I first started I wasn't blown away, it did feel very Zelda-like, but make no mistake, Okami walks its own path and it's a wonderful path that you'll never want to leave, not even for a coffee break.
Move42 says: So hard to like. So beautiful, so funny, so inventive. So talky, so infuriating, so repetitive. So beautiful. So easy to love.
TafKas says: Never got round to playing it on PS2, picked it up cheap and ended up loving it, one of the finest adventure games I have ever played and one of the most beautiful games ever made.
azurelas_2 says: It's perfect for the Wii, the best game that that system has on offer.
Masarin says: It's a must, it's a must, it's a mustard pie with spicy beef. Wii like it, of course wii do. Hand in glove. I'll say no more.
34. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
KOEI / Atlus / PS2
hayaiame says: An expansion to one of the best RPGs ever to grace the home consoles. Great storyline, characters (especially the social link system characters XD), hundreds of personae to discover and a huge dungeon to explore make this a game not to be missed.
Scimarad says: Simply put, the best RPG I have played in an absolute age - puts those offerings appearing on the 360 and PS3 to shame. A great story with likable and endearing characters fused with an utterly compulsive need to find all those personas makes this an almost impossible game to put down. Bring on Persona 4!
OrangesJoel says: I'd also put P3 proper as next on the list, but that just wouldn't be fair. An extended and improved version of the best RPG in years (if not ever, but let's not open that can of worms), with elegant combat, a neat pseudo-dating sim system and extraordinarily slick presentation. Roll on P4.
neonemesis says: One of the PS2's best RPG's by far and that's before you count the extras added to the game for the FES version.
[Editor's note: If you were to add the votes accumulated by Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES together, it would move up to 22nd and bump everything down a notch, but as both were on the list and most of the comments were specific, we decided to include both.]
2K Games / PS3
What we said: "In an industry where frankly terrible stories are too often praised simply for having a vaguely coherent beginning, middle and end, it would be wrong to dwell too much on the minor inconsistencies of a story with so much pathos and subtext, told in such an inventive manner. That this story comes wrapped in a gripping and satisfying action game which offers an astonishing array of ways to play is more than enough to justify BioShock's status as a standard bearer for next generation gaming."
TheBrow says: I know this is old news on the other platforms but its definitely a case of better late than never. The story is well-told (nice twist too) and the gameplay is great.
Bazbot_SP2 says: Loved this on PC, PS3 was just as stunning. Trophy support meant multiple play-throughs and further exploration.
Weebleboy says: Completely lived up to the hype, great story telling and a wonderfully immersive world. Can't believe I had to wait a year for it!
Machewman says: One of the most atmospheric games I've ever played. It actually has that quality of making my life feel enriched after playing it, a feeling I haven't had in years.
DFawkes says: Just as good as on 360, and as good a reason as any to revisit Rapture.
32. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
Atari / CD Projekt / PC
What we said: "Last year was bad for the PC RPG. This year, at least so far, has been even worse. In such times it's easier to look kindly on The Witcher, even the original version. The new and improved package is increasingly attractive. There are still some rough edges, and moments of genuine drama are still undercut by how they're performed, but this is an agreeably driven RPG in an agreeably ornate package. I also believe the developers' continued support for the game and commitment to expensive improvements - which I stress you'll be able to download and patch into any existent version - should be applauded."
michaelius says: Best RPG of 2007 now reaches perfection.
JayG says: It's rare a developer goes that extra mile to improve an already very good game, and make's it free to all who brought, along with the soundtrack, and all the other extras.
Evolution says: Proof that PC gaming is anything but dead. Avoids many clichs of the fantasy genre to create a game with solid gameplay, an interesting story and an impressive update to an old engine.
hjarg says: Best RPG of last year. And would have been best this year too if there weren't Fallout.
orakio says: Originally my game of the year 2007, The Witcher finds itself being re-released so that the minor issues have mostly vanished from the scene. There's a lot to say for it, and should you look at the animations and the gameplay, you could be fooled into giving it a 'mediocre' stamp... Fact is, however, the story of Geralt is one of the most compelling you've ever seen in the last few years. A good single-player RPG is like reading a good book. And The Witcher, in that regard, is a must-read for all.
Sar says: A superb update, which shows the love and care that CD Projekt: Red has for Sapkowski's works. An already brilliant RPG made even better.
xenon_md says: One of the best RPG's of recent times - many hours of whoring, hacking, slashing fun.
qoobah says: Another highlight in games storytelling, hindered by technical issues. For a gamer that values the experience over technical achievements, this proved to be an extremely fun experience in a refreshingly dark eastern-Europe flavoured fantasy setting.
31. Team Fortress 2
Valve / PC (standalone)
What we said: "In an uncharacteristic burst of intelligent observation, the game's Wikipedia entry remarks that the old design of TF2 is "quite possibly the only game to have spawned a thriving sub-genre without ever being released itself". For the people who make up that sub-genre, as well as those addressing it afresh, we're confident the reaction will be "ten years well spent"."
Discalceaterabbit says: The only game to make me cave over DRM measures.
Burton2000 says: Valve quality all over.
Wickedbug says: Because I've been playing it for almost a year and I see myself still playing it a year from now.
Elendil says: it's actually a 2007 game, but with the constant updating and support by Valve is still fresh and interesting. Playability, team play, irony and look make it a masterpiece.
Wellytopp says: Yet again, a classic remake spawned a delicious reminder of what games should be about, escapism and fun. Under all that cartoony stylized violence remains one of the prime examples of co-operative nonsense that can always stand head above others in its genre sustaining more than just a unit sold, well done Valve!
30. Battlefield: Bad Company
What we said: "Once you've experienced the various highs and lows that Bad Company has to offer, it feels like an immensely polished, ambitious effort that will build up a strong following for all the right reasons."
Farzlepot says: Maligned by some, the single-player campaign is a charming, self-deprecating romp across fictional countries and accompanied by some of the most natural, warm and humorous NPC characters this side of Half-Life 2. The fact that you aren't a hero, but rather a darn nasty gold thief, makes for a refreshing change. Finally I get to buy that yacht I always thought I deserved!
Kilters says: The best multplayer action this year. Love the vehicles.
DUFFKING says: A big surprise for me and also a very pleasant one. If you ignore the horrible single-player, this is the best multiplayer shooter experience on the 360 since Shadowrun.
Scimac says: Great story-driven FPS. Online is awesome too. Well, before the Conquest mode patch release it was.
Syon says: Comedy game or destruction mode? Fantastic voice acting and super demolition-everything-stuff made this game a 'remember' for a long time. Not to mention a really good multiplayer where no camper can stay in one place and hide from a bombardment!
spelk says: A true multi-class multiplayer combat classic. Unlike COD4 where class hybridisation was king, BC is all about teamwork, in a way that's only been seen in the likes of Team Fortress.
29. Lost Odyssey
Microsoft / Mistwalker / feelplus / Xbox 360
What we said: "If you've got the patience to sit through its slow build-up, and if you're open-minded enough to allow it to transport you, then it will take you to places that other JRPGs haven't even dreamed of visiting."
dynatronic says: It's an absolutely gorgeous game with an engaging story and characters you grow to love. Add the steampunk atmosphere and the awesome combat system and it really is one of the best RPGs I've ever played.
Poh says: I'm not the kind of guy that likes RPGs. I dare to say that I hate RPGs! So why would I choose an RPG for the best 2008 game? Because it is freakin' awesome! Loved the story, the characters, the battle system, the no-need-to-grind style of play, the amazing soundtrack... Well, I loved everything in this game! Who could tell that reading Kaim dreams could be such a glorifying experience?
Crofto says: Not exactly the best RPG on the market, but for the 360 which is still severely lacking in solid RPGs, it is the closet thing to Final Fantasy you will get until FFXIII.
berelain says: The most emotionally moving RPG I've ever experienced, and one that bucks the RPG norms by casting you as a jaded immortal who has already experienced everything life has to offer and more.
Spiral says: The best refinement of traditional JRPG formula I've seen. The Ring System does a great job of making turn based battles more interactive and should have been used more. The plot has some genuinely touching moments, and the levelling system is spot on, focusing more on the skills you learn than the sheer power the extra levels give you.
28. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Nintendo / Sora / Wii
What we said: "It's consistently satisfying over long periods, fulfilling its usual role of dominating a willing crowd's evening into the early hours, and now allowing you to sustain that after everyone's gone home using the Internet. Really the only reason you wouldn't feel that way would be if you didn't stick with it past the dizzying first quarter of an hour, or if you don't like Nintendo characters - and if you don't in either case then you probably aren't reading this anyway, and the prospect of Triforce-smashing your friends to death won't mean anything. Otherwise, persist, and enrich yourself, and wonder where on earth it all goes next."
figaro7 says: Simply packed to the brim with content, slowed the fighting, added some interesting characters and just an all round superb package.
DGumshoe says: The only game that many people woke up early just to see the updates from Dojo.
Santino says: One-on-one final destination fights on this are incredible. Just wish Samus wasn't so nerfed compared to Melee.
Heitzu says: The best of the series to date, with lots of fan service and information about all the different characters. Oh and lets not forget the classic match up of Mario vs. Sonic vs. Snake.
Slim says: A game I can play with my six-year-old without patronising him, chaotic fun. It's a Nintendo fanboy's wet dream and the only game that made owning a Wii worthwhile in 2008.
Plug9090 says: Need I say? Ultimate roster of characters, loads of levels (plus user-created content) and plenty of modes to choose from, single and multiplayer.
MrSemprini says: The way you endlessly batter the punchbag while waiting for an online match is a thing of beauty.
Machewman says: The greatest homage to Nintendo history ever made. A superb fighter, brought to life when playing with others. Buy it.
27. Resistance 2
Sony / Insomniac / PS3
What we said: "Resistance 2 is precisely the sort of exclusive game that the PS3 needs. Improving tenfold on its predecessor in almost every area, it not only belongs on the shopping list of existing Resistance fans, but those who were underwhelmed with the original will also want to check it out, and then fight for it on the internet. It's the way of the warrior."
Trundlez says: Eight-player co-op is amazing, along with the gripping single-player storyline.
felderpony says: Having enjoyed the first, I was looking forward to this and so far it's not disappointed! Certainly one of the best games on the PS3 at this moment in time (it does need more). As FPSs go, this manages to throw enough scares at you, enough nasties and keep the environments interesting. Add on a cracking online multiplayer and well, it just keeps giving.
TopGamerUK says: 60 PLAYERS ONLINE WAR!! Good story and great weapons.
bronze says: I wasn't a huge fan of the first game, but the second game is incredible. The single-player is great, simple fun but the multiplayer is unmatched in my opinion. Better than COD4 online.
26. World of Goo
What we said: "If there's any justice, World of Goo will set the internet aflame and earn its creators a million dollars. The members of 2D Boy should be carried around in chariots while this glory lasts - because at some point, they're going to realise what a murderously high standard they've set for themselves, and run away forever."
Jocho says: Great physics puzzles with bucketloads of charm and atmosphere.
Rirekon says: Truly inspirational gaming, it's such a simple idea implemented with so much polish. Love it.
lewiep says: World of Goo is as close to perfect as it gets. The controls are tight, the animation is lovely, and the presentation is brilliant. Constantly challenging and rewarding.
f00b_inc says: Always a great concept, perfected. Artwork, audio, visuals - proves you don't need a massive team to create something incredible.
hulshof says: Another excellent independent game. Charming, and fun to play. A bit short but still has a very good replayability on the OCD challenges.
25. Mass Effect
EA / BioWare / PC
What we said: "Mass Effect offers us a singular universe of excitement and drama to lose ourselves in. It's an incredibly ballsy game, not afraid to take on any of its competitors, in any field. Story-lead games? Shooters? Even genuine, non-game populist sci-fi? Mass Effect has a try at them all, and leaves more wounds in them than they leave in it, before blasting off into a space all of its own."
yog-sothot says: BioWare rules. Huge background. Great gameplay. Much space for future improvement, I can't wait for the sequel.
Hamflank says: Despite the godawful side quests, this is the most fun I've had with a game in years.
FaceOmeter says: I like dialogue... I have grievances, such as how BioWare totally phoned in the conversion (inventory management could have been about 50,000x easier on the PC). But I did that thing where you play it through with a friend, swapping the controls every ten minutes or so. Magic. It reminded me of my youth. But now there are graphics and salacious blue lesbians!
wheadna says: Everything you'd expect from a BioWare game. The plot is brilliant, the combat interesting and you actually care about the characters involved. The non-main quest planets were boring as hell, and the equipment was too generic, but that shouldn't get in the way of a genuine gaming experience.
24. Valkyria Chronicles
SEGA / SEGA WOW / PS3
What we said: "Make no mistake, Valkyria Chronicles is a really, really, really good tactical RPG, and fans of the genre should pick it up without delay, but beneath the inviting exterior and thoughtfully designed battle system lies a game with a few too many clunky inconsistencies which directly impact the strategic heart of the experience."
oldschoolsoviet says: Simply sumptuous. The standard of quality that all game devs should aspire to, and one of the few fresh, original titles of '08. Nobody makes strategy games any more, but with a little ingenuity, and a whole lot of charm, this game proves that they should. I'm only halfway through, and as much as I want to continue, it'll have to wait till my January holidays, so I can give it the time and attention it deserves.
Cappy says: Name, rank, serial number and Valkyria Chronicles is the most enjoyable game I played all year is all you filthy pigs will get out out of me. Do your worst.
Chinster says: If you loved Vandal Hearts (and I did) then you'll love this. Original art style and a new twist on turn based strategy make this feel fresh, fun and original. Outstanding.
Nillsens says: Beautiful, different, well produced and highly entertaining. It was just about the only game this year that I simply did not want to finish because I knew it would be over if I did.
philios says: Beautiful and bold. A real classic for the turn-based genre.
23. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Activision / Bizarre Creations / Xbox Live Arcade
What we said: "The omission of online play aside, Geometry Wars 2 is everything you hoped it would be. It deftly builds on a simple framework without overloading it, and even finds room to make the core experience more varied and accessible to everyone. With so many me-too titles still trying - and failing - to match the original game, it's safe to say that the bar has now been raised for Live Arcade shooters across the board."
DarrylKC says: This is the game I played the most (especially in co-op). Gameplay is excellent, very pick up and play. The balance between scores and Achievement gains is very well implemented.
TonyGster says: Massively addictive. Has that rare 'just one more go' element. New game modes are a brilliant addition and the Friend leaderboards are genius!
Chimpus says: Genius Evolved.
Super_Zee says: Still the best reason to own a 360. GW2 improves matters by offering up new styles of play without diluting the core experience (ala Galaxies). Still the best twin-stick shooter ever made. Thank god there was never a Waves arcade cab - my debt would last a lifetime.
OrangesJoel says: Retro Evolved 2 represents pretty much anything and everything that can be done with the random enemy spawning twin-stick shooter. The six game modes are all uniquely challenging, and the Achievements are so specific they're practically games in themselves.
KingOfSpain says: JUST. ONE. MORE. GO.
Oddsy says: It has stolen more hours of my life than any other game this year, and I've loved every second of it.
22. Saints Row 2
What we said: "It may not have the graphical fidelity or the polish of its high-budget counterpart, and will be beaten up for that, but it compensates more than adequately by answering the crucial question - "is it fun?" - with an exuberant, sweary, two-fingered affirmative."
evilashchris says: This is all about the co-op, the only game I can mention in the same breath as Crackdown.
r4z0rbl4d3 says: Saints Row (1) took the GTA blueprint and made it into something diffrent. Saints Row 2 is a whole new game. Loads of fun and a not so serious approach to the sandbox theme.
Kanon says: Sure it's crass. GTA IV has Niko Belic, a man struggling with his future whilst trying to put his past behind him. Saints Row 2 has my character fall backwards over a sofa having shot a rival gang to pieces in a drug-fuelled gun spree. But it knows what it is and where it's place is. Saints Row 2 was fun to play at a point where GTA IV had long since proved to be boring.
Requeim says: This one really surprised me. I am one of the people who loved the older GTAs and hated the new one, so this seems to me like the true sequel to 3/VC/SA. It has some bugs, but that's to be expected from a game with so much in it.
Faulty says: A remedy to GTA4's realism approach, going all out to provide as many different, fun activities as possible.
AHiFi says: If GTA IV deserves accolades, then so does this beauty. While it may be the Marmite of the gaming world, Saints Row 2 provided a ton of content that will leave Rockstar mulling over what to do next. It's bold, brash and brilliant fun. The co-op is an unexpected thrill, that lays waste to Fable II's co-op experience. The amount that Saints Row 2 offers also puts GTAIV to shame - especially when you consider the size of Stillwater compared to Liberty City. Saints Row 2 is a rollercoaster ride that never relents.
dudley says: I found myself playing this more thoroughly than GTA. It pales alongside GTA in every category but the one that matters, it's perhaps a little more fun.
21. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Blizzard / PC, Mac
What we said: "Wrath of the Lich King takes the best-of-breed MMO and improves everything about it. It's a work of supreme confidence and quality that is twice as fun and ten times as beautiful as classic WOW, not to mention anything else in the genre. But above all else - in the breathtaking sweep of Northrend, in the assured, epic storytelling, in the constellation of brilliant quests - it is a grand adventure. Perhaps the grandest adventure in all gaming. In every sense, Azeroth is still the place to be."
hjarg says: It's happily killing my social lilfe and my relationship, but dammit, it's good!
Rayn says: Expanding on an already great game, Raids are now 10 and 25 man, more variety in quests, new zones look fantastic, VIKINGS!!!!
neuroniky says: I was tempted to call this the best of the year, but it's hard to call an expansion the best thing to have come this year... Blizzard did right everything she did wrong with the Burning Crusade and she also managed to make the game better than the original and to make for normal people with less that 90 per cent of their life dedicated to WOW actually able to see all the content they have created. Hardcore will probably despise this choice, but we guys with a family are just in love with WOTLK. Expecially when a game that is four years old manages to look like it is a new game even if under the hood nothing has changed.
Goffee says: Sapped soul and life but still fun.
bigjimbeef says: An absolute masterpiece from Blizzard. Design is superb, and the new content is all of an even higher standard than before. They seamless added a new class, and managed to keep the game world balanced around major class changes. The music is easily the best game score I've heard in many, many years.
Huddy says: Well constructed and adds to the whole WOW universe. For the less hardcore gamer it finally allows me to compete and will provide many hours of enjoyment.
Shrui says: LET ME GO BLIZZARD! LET MY CHARACTERS DIE AT 70! Ooh, Death Knights!
Machewman says: It's an MMO without the grind, and that's because you'll love every minute of the levelling process. The various Northrend storylines are woven together expertly, the zone design is amazing. The soundtrack is top quality, and it's still one of the most sociable games of all time, ironically.
20. WipEout HD
Sony / Sony Liverpool / PlayStation Network
What we said: "The extra effort has paid off. The result is a game that commands your attention, ruthlessly hauling your eyes into the flatscreen while tickling your brain with impeccable track design and spine-snapping speeds. Sackboy may be the new face of PlayStation, but the console just hasn't been the same without WipEout. It's great to have it back."
marronthered says: It may not be a full version but at 1080p and 60fps it's an absolute asssault on the senses! Everyone should experience the real next-gen with this game.
YobRenoops says: A game that really does look like its from the future.
Chinster says: Stunning recreation of the defining PlayStation game. Graphics and gameplay to die for and surely it's also the bargain of the year?
Scimarad says: When PS3 owners are having to put up with substandard conversions this game is a ray of sunshine. Technically incredible and immensely playable, this WipEout seems to bring the best of the series in downloadable form for a criminally cheap price. In my opinion the most impressive PS3 game available - and let's not forget, cheap!
chudders says: I simply cannot overstate how 'future' this is. Did you know it was made by a studio in Liverpool? That's why the cars have no wheels.
PatAU says: The Zone 45 colour scheme, in 60fps 1080p glory. For about 3 seconds until I explode into the wall.
BraveArse says: After a lot of marketing umming and ahhing, nonsense release dates and epilepsy scares - the biggest surprise was the price. It was worth three times the asking price in my opinion. It was jaw droppingly beautiful, blindingly quick and at last... at long last, my beloved WipEout was online on a non-handheld. That simple fact answered all my complaints since I started complaining on Moto GP that I would have beaten them all if this was WipEout. Because you know what? I checked last night and after a month break I'm still skulking sround the top ten in Flash class Speed laps. \o/
19. Far Cry 2
What we said: "Far Cry 2 is unforgettable rather than perfect, then; brilliant, frustrating, sombre and comical, it offers freedom within extremely curtailed limits, and strives to treat its players like adults. In the end it remains, true to its source material, a game that was born to struggle with itself."
RunningMan says: Best shooter since STALKER.
Iliad says: Single-player is stunning and so impressive, with the multiplayer a great deal of fun. Still, it's the single-player experience and stunning open gameplay that makes this so good. Of course, it wouldn't have been mentioned if not for me, somehow, not getting stuck at 88 per cent.
Mr.Do! says: For the lovely freedom, and it looks so god damn beautiful.
newt says: "I used to think if I died in an evil place then my soul wouldn't make it to heaven. Well, f***. I don't care where it goes as long it ain't here."
spartancog117 says: Best shooter this year, Africa is a beautiful place with LOTS OF RUSTY GUNS AND STUFF innit, no? Okay.
Firewarrior706 says: I loved the vast, open world that was full of beautiful plants and animals. The gameplay was fun and I loved how you could go about almost anything in a stealthy or gung-ho fashion. The range of weapons is quite large and the physics and real world effects were applied excellently. The AI was superb in the way they honestly had to think about every action they took, whether it was in combat with the player, or just going about their daily business.
Sir_TimAlot says: Very easy to lose a lot of time playing this game, flawed but still very ambitous and playable.
sedgyman says: Far too harshly criticised by reviewers. Although the gameplay mechanics were nothing new, it's a first-person shooter, what did you expect? An environment that sucks you in like no other game with believable, likable characters. I almost shed a tear when the APR bastards killed my in game best friend Josip. Although that probably says more about me than Far Cry 2.
18. Rock Band
What we said: "We do recommend Rock Band - it's outrageous, hilarious and memorable, and the best four-players-on-one-screen multiplayer game since GoldenEye - but you shouldn't buy it until you've thought long and hard about what else you could spend the money on. If you're talking about spending 100 quid on Xbox 360 games, there are plenty of three- or four-game combinations that represent stunning value by comparison, and as long as Rock Band's priced the way it is now, that's the yardstick by which it has to be measured. If after all that you're still ready to rock, we salute you."
AllenSpawn says: Actually taught me basic drumming... and I have no rhythm!
neuroniky says: If you're asking 'why?' then you haven't played it. While all the other games try to be more realistic, or gruesome or whatever, Rock Band just tries and manages to be the most fun for one to four people out there.
thehipster7 says: The drums and the songs. Downloadable Clash, Ramones, Grateful Dead... the stuff of dreams for an old fart.
martinh says: BOOM TISH BOOM TISH WARBLE WARBLE. It never gets old. And we all love to do it. A game that benefits from the inclusion of alcohol.
Ignatius_Cheese says: Harmonix's new baby succeeds in breaking new ground where Red Octane/Neversoft feel obliged to follow in tow. From a corking line-up of tracks on the disc to a continually growing DLC catalogue to jam along with mates, this new franchise truly delivers a next-gen experience, even if you are tethered to a cheap USB hub. Rock on! \m/
Weebleboy says: Don't even own it, but it's provided hours of drunken entertainment at friends' houses.
17. Mirror's Edge
What we said: "There's something broken thematically, deep within Mirror's Edge: it tells you a rambling story about freedom even as it confines you to the tight squares of its own personal hopscotch court, and for many that will be one wrong-footing too many. But for those who can shrug off the contradictions and the limitations, ignore the tearing cityscape and lingering qualms about value for money, this will shove you so deeply into the experience of being in someone else's body, and taking it on a terrifying, breakneck joyride, that nothing else will matter."
finski says: Something different. That's what describes this game best. And it's only a good way! Only bad thing I found from this is that it's a bit short and may get a bit repetitive. But love it still!
dr_swin says: Daringly innovative and beautifully produced. This game got so much right. The feeling of exhilaration when you were running full pelt and taking on the obstacles was amazing. I loved the sylish visuals as well. They made a real change from the monochramatic palettes of other games. The speed runs and time trials are addictive in a 'just one more go' type way and help to give longevity to an otherwise short game.
Move42 says: You want to know how much I love it? I even like the fighting, that's how much.
Oceadge says: The unique look and feel along with the music reminds me of a Michael Mann film. In a time of endless FPSs and sequels this game really stands out. Who cares that it's not all 'free running' - that can be done in the time trials - this is a first-person 3D platformer.
pickles4uk says: Not many developers take risks these days so I admire DICE for trying something new. The game wasn't brilliant, and a little short, but the gameplay was new and interesting and kept me entertained.
Hybridshadow says: Loved the free running concept, a game you can pick and play again. Looking forward to DLC.
16. Call of Duty: World at War
What we said: "It's easy to be impressed by World at War. It's a game designed for maximum initial impact and, while it wobbles along the way, it delivers precisely the sort of carefully stage-managed carnage that fans will expect. The addition of a robust and varied co-op option helps to mitigate the disappointment of the by-the-numbers traditional multiplayer modes."
BigSmith says: Not as good as COD4 but still a great game.
Gilegend says: WWII never looked so good. And killing Nazi zombies never gets old.
Kangoo says: An amazing turnaround from Call of Duty 3. Treyarch has excelled and almost got to the same level as Modern Warfare.
Zalohuw says: Nazi zombies!!!!
JIS87 says: If the issues with PS3 version got fixed, this would be the game I would be playing most.
markypants says: Quite simply the most balanced FPS I've ever played. Racked up hours and hours of gameplay and enjoyed daily doses of shooting my brother in the face.
15. Mario Kart Wii
Nintendo / Wii
What we said: "The sheer sensory pleasure of playing Mario Kart Wii - from the charming animations, to the bopping tunes, to the sugar-rush boosting, to the exquisite steering - far overcomes the few concerns we have about it. It still has to be docked a mark for the awkward structure and compromised battle modes - but it's still unreservedly recommended to anyone for whom Mario Kart is a gaming cornerstone. And really, that should be everyone."
RABicle says: When competing with a housemate for the best times on Sherbert Land, the competition eclipsed friendly rivalry when my housemate beat my time and in doing so, entered the continental top ten. When I beat this time of his, it pushed him out of the ten. I sent my ghost to a friend in Sydney, who beat me and pushed me out of the top ten. This is a whole new level of epic.
FaceOmeter says: Take that, dialogue..! This should have been better than it was. But it's the first time Nintendo has done justice to their promises of online play, in spite of the friend code problem. Twelve-player worldwide racing with almost literally no lag. Cool. More levels would have been nice. The removal of POW blocks would have been nice. A good battle mode would have been nice. Lots of things would have been nice, but they preserved the Mario Kart 'feel' and in spite of (or perhaps because of) all its frustrations it's still some of the most compelling gameplay ever.
romanista says: Endless depth with all different modes. Time trials with online leaderboards. A Wii game that works online. And for Christ's sake, it's Mario Kart.
Pitoon says: What a claaaassic.
Stompy says: RACE FASTER THAN MARIO IN THE RACE!!!
Steifybobbins says: It's classic Mario Kart with the added bonus of a pretty solid and immensely addictive online mode whether that be standard racing or time-trialling. I must have put three or four hundred hours into this and I still love it.
Leolian'sBro says: Does everything right, but really nothing new. No other game series has me screaming at the screen in an empty house though, so it merits inclusion for that alone.
FabricatedLunatic says: Mario Kart Wii holds the distinction of being the first and only game that's managed to tempt me online for any serious amount of time. Whether playing against random internet people or the twisted denizens who inhabit the MK Wii forum thread, the game takes me through a wildly oscillating series of emotion: joy, euphoria, frustration, and despair. But I always come back for more.
CromeYellow says: It's a superbly balanced game. Almost as good as Mario Kart 64 and much better than Double Dash.
14. Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Nintendo / Level-5 / DS
What we said: "Where were we? Oh yes, a really lovely, surprisingly dark, and utterly engrossing collection of varied puzzles. It's getting a 9, and if you tried to argue I should have given it 8 you'd be right on every technical level. But then I'd lift up the top of my skull and show you all the happy it's put inside my head, and then you'd realise you were wrong."
letmelive says: The perfect puzzle game, graphics are cute and colourful and updates keep this game new and fresh.
DB2k says: A taxing and infuriating game which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Lawlost says: A bizarre puzzle game that keeps you coming back again and again. I found myself working on problems I was stuck even after I switched it off. Only the DS could pull this kind of game off.
Chimpus says: - - - CORRECT.
gav_and_the_gavster says: Along with Zack & Wiki, it's shows that there is still life left in a genre often perceived to be dead and/or retro. It has more charm on a single, stationary screen than other games manage to produce over a stretched out 40 hour quest. Now give us the sequels!
Fozzie_bear says: What should have been as dull as ditchwater became more than the sum of its parts thanks to the great presentation. Impossible to put down till you've finished it.
TheMoonRat says: This is what 'casual gaming' should be like; a game that a 26-year-old gaming addict loves, yet also recommends as a Christmas present for my girlfriend's grandma. It's easy to play, it has a beautiful style to it, it's perfect for a five-minute train journey, it's perfect for half an hour of puzzle-solving action. And like another game in my list, it can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. Can't wait for the sequels!
UberChew says: Challenges the mind with classic puzzles, foolishy targeted at the younger market. The function to skip puzzles and return to them later makes sure the player is never fustrated. A charming murder mystery tale ties the game together nicely.
13. Rock Band 2
EA / MTV / Harmonix / Xbox 360
What we said: "More or less every concern and complaint we had about the original game has been addressed, the new tracklist is very much to our taste (with 20 more free songs to come, remember), and with the rebalancing of difficulty, modes like Battle of the Bands and the No Fail modifier and Drum Trainer, Harmonix has completed the awkward job of broadening the game's appeal at both ends of the skill spectrum successfully. It's an excellent, measured sequel that should appeal to all."
NeoNatica says: Just another improvement from the first, yet makes a total difference.
Wickedbug says: What my friends and I play when we're not playing Left 4 Dead or Team Fortress 2! Two passions, music and video games, combined into one well crafted game.
fragglefart says: For being the first game that my girl has ever asked me to buy expansions for. For all the luls and awesome it has provided during parties with family, neighbours and friends. For taking the three best things in the universe - rock n' roll, booze, and gaming - and combining them into something more awesome than I could have hoped.
TonyGster says: Set list not as good as RB1 but everything else has been improved.
eqd says: Not only is this a completely addictive game, but my flat has had a large amount of Rock Band parties, giving an excuse to drink with friends, look like lunatics, play with plastic instruments and even dress up like rock stars.
Faulty says: A behemoth of a game, Harmonix's dedication to this franchise is staggering. There's always something to keep you interested from the daily battles to the weekly downloadable content.
Tricky2050 says: This is the best thing to happen to multiplayer ever.
Robyrt says: Rock Band 2 is the rare sequel that delivers exactly what its fans wanted: they have fixed almost everything that was wrong with the original, without ruining any of the parts that made it so wonderful. Rock Band is the preeminent party experience, with a vast library of content to please anyone and a control scheme welcoming enough to please everyone. As a real musician, I use this game to give others a taste of the fun that making music entails. As a hardcore gamer, I can spend hours honing my skills and chasing leaderboard scores. The age of downloadable content has arrived, and its killer app is Rock Band.
What we said: "Portal remains an absolutely fantastic game, a wonderfully constructed vignette of puzzles and gallows humour that everybody should play. This solus download offers just that. If you've already sucked the original experience dry, you can skip this without worrying that you're missing out. If you've yet to make GLaDOS' acquaintance, however, you should waste no time in downloading this."
Jocho says: Portal does a lot of things with their unique mechanic, tossing you in every possible and impossible direction. And with a story that lets you choose if you want to know the story or focus on playing.
Wellytopp says: Well and truly messed with my head, and as a game mechanic ingenious to say the least and for that alone was well worth the asking price, if it was produced by a Brit developer we would have had more pie than cake, as everyone loves pie!
Ariondax says: Simple idea fantastically executed. Great design, good visuals, challenging gameplay, fun experience. Doesn't outstay its welcome but so good it leaves you wanting more.
RABicle says: Because I'm still alive. A short evening of gameplay, but incredible throughout. I didn't know there was a song at the end: best song.
ChaoticImpulses says: Clever, funny, scary, dishonest, revolutionary. That's Portal in five words, there's no excuse for any gamer not to own The Orange Box, none at all.
Tomo says: Truly innovative gameplay, buckets of humour and a twisted, engrossing storyline made for that rare game - a title that surpassed the immense hype.
Headache says: Simply put, this game is pure fun. From the computer and drones through the challenging enviroments and the hints at a wider world through the mad scrawlings of a previous 'test subject' Portal provided on every level.
Sulphur says: Haha, do you really need a reason? Wasn't this last yea, though, along with The Orange Box? Oh right, separate release. Okay, apart from the inspired Portal gameplay, why is this still awesome? Two words: Erik Wolpaw. GLaDOS remains one of the best-written game antagonists ever, almost reaching SHODAN's lofty heights. Yet the rest of the brilliance is also in the details, and the story's execution, which surely is something that the entire team worked hard at. It's a brilliant, singular experience and I doubt that will change with time. Okay, okay, the truth: I'm really nominating it for the song at the end. BEST. END. CREDIT. SONG. EVER. Say it with me: This is a triumph.
11. FIFA 09
What we said: "It feels like football, it rewards football, and it punishes football, for football reasons. It may not always be your brand of football, and you can ask for more, but only by degrees. The myth is dead. "Let's FIFA"."
SuspectedDog says: Better than Pro Evo...
scowat says: EA very quickly tinkered and tweaked UEFA into its larger baby and it produced the single most impressive and immersive football game on a console ever.
slowcc says: Having been a PES player for the last ten years FIFA 09 comes out and improves in every area imaginable. A big surprise.
sininc says: Gameplay is fluid, good build ups and excellent online play. I've always been a Pro Evo player but the new FIFA is far better.
caligari says: The online Be-A-Pro is a revelation! The roars and cheers of team-mates as you crash the ball in from 30 yards - the even louder huzzahs as your bone-crunching tackle against Ronaldo leaves him writhing on the floor. It's the gaming equivalent of playing football with the big kids at school - each kick has the chance to make you look like a Premier League prodigy or a non-league nincompoop. I've also lost my voice from screaming 'PASS' down the mic. Over and over again.
Stu says: Because it, by innovating every year rather than festering on its laurels like its competitor, has become the best football game ever made. Not perfect, but still brilliant.
Teacher987 says: FIFA 09 is the ultimate football simulation. Period. The gameplay is now so polished and rewarding, that I could play it all day long, and never get bored. The graphics are great, the sound is excellent (as is the music), the database is huge, FIFA 2010 will face a tough task of improving on this.
10. Dead Space
What we said: "Dead Space easily delivers on that promise, but fails to turn its polished production values into something truly memorable over the long haul."
Ratsoap says: Takes everything about the survivial horror genre that was good, and turns it up to 11. Resident Evil 5 is gonna have a hard time living up to this.
ChthonicEcho says: Sure, Dead Space offers scares that grow old fast, and its story is riddled with clichs and predictable plot twists, but it has a satisfyingly gory ending that sees one of your traitors getting colossally screwed, and to defeat enemies, you have to cut their limbs off. A game that allows you to act out your sadomasochistic fantasies - what's there not to like?
Move42 says: In a year of bold experiments, this is the most conventional game of them all. There are a few innovations - the in-game HUD is one of them, and it's genius - but most of the time, this is a by-the-numbers-affair: dark corridors, guns, monsters, go. What makes it better than all the other shooters of the year is simply lots of polish, the attention to detail, and the production values. In a better world, all games would be as well-executed as this. In our world, this is one of the best of the year.
Gilegend says: Almost did the impossible and made a game scary.
darleysam says: A M-rated sci-fi horror game from EA? I've been following this since GameInformer first mentioned it, and was not disappointed by the final product. A highly polished homage to all the best examples of sci-fi horror over the years (intentional or not) that left me both too tense to continue, but reluctant to stop. Also the over-touted 'strategic dismemberment' managed to be just as much fun from the first to the last necromorph you're picking to pieces.
jaylab says: Resident BioShock in Space 4: Slicing Evolved.
KevvyMetal79 says: Surprise of the year. Almost as good as RE4. A fantastical designed, linear rollercoaster of a game. Totally trim of fat and filler.
trousers says: 'Ooh a flashing light next to a dead body what could that be for? Ooh shiny. IT'S ALIVE! AND EATING ME!' It takes the oldest tricks in the book and still manages to make me squeal like a girl.
Calex30 says: A bolt out of the blue. I was expecting yet another corridor shooter with the odd fancy weapon but was blown away. A perfect game for the dark winter nights and downright terrifying when playing at two in the morning. Atmospheric to it core.
9. Burnout Paradise
What we said: "There's no doubt that Burnout Paradise is a fine arcade racing game that will once again attract a strong following from a discerning audience prepared to live with it and get used to its intricacies."
KRadiation says: The original on disc game was a lot of fun but they've added and added to it and for free!
steoc4 says: They could have done another lazy update, but instead they went back to the drawing board and produced something very special, with some of the most innovative and entertaining use so far of modern connected consoles.
Kropotkin says: Open ended driving game that takes something from the GTA mould. Criterion's support for the game has been astounding also. It's the game that keeps on giving.
rhythm says: Burnout finally works! The previous versions never quite gelled but this was damn near perfect. Plus the DLC keeps giving and giving!
Lawlost says: Crash bang racer with stacks of free DLC, what more could you ask for.
Ed_209uk says: A departure from the traditional Burnout formula and a gamble that paid off. A fantastically realised play area with some lovely art direction and that hallmark of the series, a genuine sense of speed, fully intact. Online is a constant blast and the level of support Criterion have shown for the game is nothing short of exemplary. I'm looking forward to the new island already.
Pinewood_Groves says: Possibly forgotten by many for being released so early in 2008, Burnout Paradise is a stunning package with eye-bleedingly good graphics and speed, and fantastic, almost revolutionary open-world gameplay. Plus, the greatest developer support, in the form of free DLC, I think I have seen in nearly 20 years of gaming.
Ignatius_Cheese says: No franchise reboot or rethinking has come close to what Criterion has achieved with Burnout Paradise. Sod the quick restart option! The community for this game has given arcade racing a well-deserved shot in the arm and continues to entertain many late on a Friday night. And that's not the end for Paradise City! Next year promises even more delights via DLC to keep the blood fresh in the veins. Take me down, indeed, to the Paradise City! \o/
Jonathan Blow / Xbox Live Arcade
What we said: "Braid is beautiful, entertaining and inspiring. It stretches both intellect and emotion, and these elements dovetail beautifully rather than chaffing against each other. Still wondering if games can be art? Here's your answer."
johnboy_johsnon says: Frustrating in places but an absolute joy to play. One of the few games to give such a sense of achievement. Also felt like a genius playing it.
twmac says: The music, atmosphere and story are exquisite.
jimbob101 says: Ow my poor brain.
Scrumhalf says: Harks back to the good old days of gaming - quite the most brilliant concept and game ever delivered.
Defrost says: This is what independent gaming is about - ridiculously long development times, obscure symbolism, frustrating puzzles, and 100 per cent worth every penny.
caligari says: Admirable, alluring, angelic, appealing, beauteous, bewitching, charming, classy, comely, cute, dazzling, delicate, delightful, divine, elegant, enticing, excellent, exquisite, fair, fascinating, fine, foxy*, good-looking, gorgeous, graceful, grand, handsome, ideal, lovely, magnificent, marvelous, nice, pleasing, pretty, pulchritudinous, radiant, ravishing, refined, resplendent, shapely, sightly, splendid, statuesque, stunning, sublime, superb, symmetrical, taking, well-formed, wonderful. The words that I would use to describe not only myself, but also the rather lovely Braid.
Rayn says: Amazing mix of platforming and puzzles, and the time-manipulation controls feel like second nature after five minutes. This is a step forward and an evolution for platform puzzlers as well as proving that bedroom coding ain't dead.
neuroniky says: It left me almost in tears. Both out of sheer joy at seeing how good the developer was in designing some level, and because the story was so sad even if you couldn't make head over tail of it. The masterpiece of the independent software this year.
MvK says: Braid is the Brazil of gaming, and will go down in history as one of the best examples of this medium we love so much. It isn't often that you're still thinking about a 'videogame' days after you've finished 'playing' it.
mdogg says: It was simply a brilliant puzzle game due to its core mechanic being innovative and consistent. The background visuals was great eye-candy. The script was embarrassing but gave it that homebrew edge.
7. Left 4 Dead
What we said: "Left 4 Dead is another deeply professional, personality-filled and progressive take on the shooter from Valve. In a cultural landscape that has as many zombie touchstones as ours, it takes something special to make them shamble appealingly, and Left 4 Dead, both literally and metaphorically, makes them run. In this new co-op landscape, it'll be interesting to see whether anyone can catch up."
ChthonicEcho says: Valve has managed to successfully blend in what every nerd loves - sophisticated co-op gameplay, zombies, and jailbait of a teen girl as one of the players. Wait, am I even allowed to type this?
Beats12 says: The way Left 4 Dead actually managed to force you to work as a team resulted in some of the best multiplayer gaming I've ever experienced. When you add the excellent set-pieces involving desperate struggles for survival and the fact that zombies are simply awesome, then you have a game of the year!
Kanon says: The best co-op experience I have had to date online or off. In my book that's about the best praise a game can get. Short but sweet. If the game had a couple more scenarios to play through it could have easily been first on my list. A runner-up but a damn good one at that.
dfunked says: This game reignited my passion for online gaming. If you manage to find a game with three other like-minded players, you'll have an unbelievably absorbing experience.
saucymonk says: Excellent computer player AI, and every game is different! SUPER DUPER!
PlugMonkey says: My best online experience ever. The way people just fall into some extremely complex team strategies is enormously satisfying.
keme says: One of the few truly co-operative co-op games out there. Truly heart-shatteringly intense combat, insane replayability, an excellent Versus mode. It might not be much more than a Source Mod, but it's still one of the few games that came out this year that will still be played in 2010.
Monkey_Puncher says: Have always loved co-op games and this game takes online co-op to the next level. Wonderful level design that never seems to get dull no matter how many times you play through them, and what's not to love about shooting hordes of zombies in the face?
Tricky2050 says: It had my housemate and I screaming like schoolgirls the first time a tank chased us in co-op. Absolutely awesome fun.
Meho says: I hate people. I spend most of my free time reading and playing games precisely so I can be away from people. And then you have a game that is all about being around people. Admittedly, they are on other continents and they have silly names with brackets and underscores in them but the first time an unknown person heals you after an attack where you have collectively killed upward of 100 zombies (sorry, infected) you will understand what 'love thy fellow men' was all about. Left 4 Dead almost makes me hate people a little less and god damn it if this does not prove that games can actually provoke actual emotion.
6. Fable II
Microsoft / Lionhead / Xbox 360
What we said: "Fable II's generous and forgiving template isn't one that many games choose to follow, but it proves convincingly that if you're clever enough, you can create a consistent challenge without resorting to mindless punishment, and you can craft a sharply told story that still has room for the player to express themselves within."
Kafkaesque says: I've played plenty of MMORPGs but I've been allergic to single-player RPGs for as long as I can remember. This is the first RPG I've ever finished, including various incarnations of Final Fantasy. The sandbox element is great too; I spent ages just saving up money to buy property and to see how my wives would get on if they set up home next door to each other. Going further, I actually played through again just to see how decisions I made would influence how the game played. It's not perfect but it's a good step forward towards creating more captivating worlds in which to play.
Headache says: The freedom to leave the main story hanging and become the evil landlord and master of all the people of Albion has been a major plus point for me, I'll finish the main story one day, but not before all its citizens are on the streets begging.
Halo Jones says: Great game, can get a bit dull at times though. Enjoyable watching the kids play it and being nasty little sods.
GaidenZero says: Art style is suberb and the brilliantly realised world of Albion truely draws you in. It's concept was well realised and the emotional impact was suprising.
chris_himself says: I have big evil horns, people run screaming from me, my dogs eyes glow red, all because of my chosen actions in game. Quality!
martymcnulty says: Because no other game this year let me consummate a fictional marriage in the presence of a huge, disembodied eyeball, then celebrate this by running in my pants through a town square, shredding a lute solo in front of a crowd of peasants, and then follow it up with several loud, sonorous farts, aimed alternately in the faces of women, tramps and children. That said, I'm yet to play Far Cry 2.
Trottimus says: Immersive, original, British.
denis09 says: As someone who really enjoyed the fine but flawed Fable on the Xbox, this feels like an overall improvement on all levels. Great-looking world, freedom to become who you want and do what you like. A real next-gen role-playing experience!
nedrichards says: [On the ending, which we won't spoil here, even though many have seen it.] Well done Lionhead, you made me care.
farticusmaximus says: Charming and engrossing, with loads of replay value for those inclined to wander and experiment.
fifthcolumn says: I commanded my dog to pee on a tramp, then invited him back to my place for a threesome. What other game would let you get up to this sort of mischief?
Sony / Media Molecule / PS3
What we said: "Mostly, we're just happy to see a flagship game for a modern system that's about running from left to right and jumping over things. New ideas are great, great old ideas are better, and LittleBigPlanet has both: it's the future and the past of videogames, rolled into one."
afray says: It's a testament to how wonderful this game is that the floaty controls don't ruin the experience. With four players in the same room I've never laughed so much. Full of so much win some of it has spilled out of the PS3 and stained my carpet.
Theorem says: Innovative, fun and huge! The best platformer since Super Mario Bros.
ProjectJAY says: It's games like LittleBigPlanet that keep the revolutionary wheels of the videogame industry spinning; Metal Gear Solid created the stealth genre, Guitar Hero was an instant party hit and Grand Theft Auto III inspired countless games and spawned many fantastic sequels. What does LBP do? It revolutionises a gamer's greatest fantasy...to create a kickass video game. And LBP, pretty much, lets you do just that. It's the ultimate creative tool; the level-creation feature is so deep and so immense that it dwarfs the already fantastic single-player campaign, and the online functionality is just superb.
MrBeast says: Hell, I bought a PS3 just to play this game!
Whatsfor says: I have not laughed as hard as I did with this game for the last few years! I completed it with my girlfriend, who until this point had never played a PlayStation. It just draws you in!
IAchilleasI says: Anything a Wii can offer to a non-casual gamer and more.
Borealis_UK says: For trying something different, and succeeding in every single way.
deaner says: it's everything I'd expect not to like in a videogame. It's colourful, cute and basic - but that's just a surface under which lies the most cunningly clever and imaginative game I've played in years.
therev says: I love games that the wife and I can play together. And I love games where just running, jumping and swinging around are fun. And I love games with huge amounts of charm, wonderfully designed levels and Stephen Fry. It's just a pure joy to play. And that's before you even consider all the online stuff...
Sandbox says: Stephen Fry.
Snarky says: A breath of fresh air in a market saturated with shooters and a user-friendly place for creative people to show their skills.
BrokenRSA says: Always having a new level to play never gets old.
Widge says: I don't think I've played a game which has given me such a beaming smile like this in my life. It's so slickly put together too. You also appreciate the levels in the game more when you're keeping an eye out for how they've been made. Great stuff!
4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Konami / Kojima Productions / PS3
What we said: "Guns of the Patriots is a frustrating, fractured game that turns Metal Gear Solid's world upside down several times over, but never changes it. It just burrows deeper into what fans love and detractors hate than ever before, and it will make few converts. It's a crying shame, given how many genuinely classic gaming moments there are here, given the countless exquisite creative touches, but Metal Gear Solid 4 is its own worst enemy. You could not ask for a funnier, cleverer, more ambitious or inspired or over-the-top conclusion to the Metal Gear Solid series, but it's definitely time to move on."
bronze says: It's the first game this generation to blow me away - on so many levels - the graphics, the gameplay, the audio and of course, on an emotional level. The game even has a full multiplayer game included in the box.
Roarer says: Hype and delays shot expectations through the roof - MGS4 simply couldn't deliver no matter how hard it tried. And really - the story is convoluted and Kojima is in dire need of someone to pull his reins and edit the incessant flow of ideas sprouting from his brain. Nevertheless, production values are up there with the biggest blockbuster movies and some of the set-pieces and stages are crafted out of pure brilliance which mostly make up for the (necessarily?) silly plot and stiff dialogue.
philios says: Still a force in the genre. Cut-scene times aside, this is still an fantastic experience with some brilliant design, coupled with top-draw graphics, sound and gameplay.
SenorGrande says: Well the ending was insane and the whole stalking thing in the third chapter really did suck but for the most part this was another terrific entry in the Metal Gear Solid series.
MisterSlimm says: An entirely non-disappointing sequel, a rare thing indeed. Confusing, certainly, but not disappointing.
Snarky says: This is a guilty pleasure of a game that has fan service as its number one priority. Could have used an editor or two and the install times are silly but the ridiculous nature of it is charming much like Gears 2.
funkyd says: A masterpiece.
Widge says: Shockingly epic and awesome. Perhaps only let down by the ridiculous showdown at the end and the baffling speech. All these are forgotten when you get to hit Episode 4 again.
3. Gears of War 2
Microsoft / Epic / Xbox 360
What we said: "Like the original, on one level, Gears 2 is a brilliant advertisement for Unreal Engine 3, glorying in soft-body physics, glinting textures, and massive explosions... Yet on another level, the game's a calling card from a developer that continues to mature in design as well as technology."
colliehany says: The scale of the game speaks for itself. Every minor problem from the first game has been fixed in Gears 2. The graphics are incredible and the online multiplayer is executed extremely well. Also co-op is a very good addition.
Petrarch says: More Gears, more Locusts, and the addition of the Horde mode makes this another well-crafted blastathon.
twmac says: In every way an improvement on the original. The cover mechanics have been improved, graphically superior, tighter plot and it has one of the best multiplayer experiences in Horde mode.
Jickle says: This my kinda s***.
Xerx3s says: Is there any other game that literally drowns you in blood?
Mordum says: Xbox Live is where I do most of my gaming, and this has finally ended my COD4 addiction. A great single-player/co-op campaign is a bonus too.
WillyWanka says: Bigger, better and, despite the self cringe that comes with saying this, more badass. Would be higher but for the horrendous online lag/matchmaking.
Crazyreyn says: Everything a sequel should be; a far superior campaign, diverse multiplayer and somehow manages to make it more visually intense than it was first time round.
davebiglife says: Cinematic in a way that Michael Bay dreams of. Ludicrous but all the more awesome for it.
Robyrt says: Gears 2 takes all the greatest moments of the first-person shooter, that most caffeinated of genres, and slows them down to a pace that rewards teamwork, tactics and knowledge of the terrain. It delivers on the promise that could be glimpsed from the single-player campaign of its predecessor, only this time you can take friends along for the ride, or apply those same skills to a competitive multiplayer match. In an industry increasingly fueled by a single standout feature per game, Gears 2 manages to have something for everyone.
2. Grand Theft Auto IV
What we said: "Almost everything you do in Liberty City would be good enough to drive its own game, and the best parts would be good enough to outrun the competition, but the reason it works so well is that Rockstar has made a game that requires no patience to play. This, as much as its usual coherency and the best script in the series, is what makes GTA IV the best openworld game yet, and why it will take something miraculous to rob it of game of the year status."
steoc4 says: They took what was probably already the best game series out there, and methodically improved every part of the core gameplay to deliver a fantastic and memorable experience filled with so many great moments, both scripted thanks to the story and unscripted thanks to the game's limitless possibilities.
ChthonicEcho says: The experience gained through playing Grand Theft Auto IV is indescribable, and the amount of hilarious accidental scenes you will want to share with your friends is immeasurable. Unless you're a jaded gamer or a sour critic, you'll spend hours just driving around the city, continuously discovering a myriad of details the game allows you to unravel.
Kropotkin says: No other game brought out as much emotional reaction from me this year. I cared about what happened in the story and the characters within it. The fact that I wasn't tripping through the forest with a massive sword hitting goblins for once was a breath of fresh air. GTA IV was a magnificent example of how games can cover a modern day setting. Hands down the best game of 2008 bar none.
kkgrandi says: A game that offers a great sensation of the real world, with a plot involving interesting characters and all-around well performed gameplay. The physics engine is a huge leap forward for the series.
oldschoolsoviet says: A masterpiece in fun. From graphics, to physics, to music, to TV, to story, to multiplayer and everything in between. The only way that this became boring was if you played it that way. Me? I'll never forget phoning an opponent in MP, screaming 'MOPED DEATH BABY!' as my friend and I appeared 6ft above him, spraying Uzi death into his ride, having taken a nifty jump shortcut. Priceless.
stealthfinger says: Awesome, but kind of boring at the same time. A technical masterpiece though.
Farzlepot says: Hollywood production values, vastly improved vehicle handling over previous attempts, and a vibrant, living city that one can easily get lost in, this entertaining rampage is let down only by its disjointed, somewhat repetitive missions.
CaptainBinky says: Not my cup of tea, but I can't deny the scope and depth of this game. And the radio is great.
dr_swin says: Absolutely staggering game engine. The attention to detail was mind-blowing. I would have rated it more highly if they had just put some more midpoint saves in. The multiplayer was also fun but never quite took off in popularity like I thought it would.
Move42 says: Early on, GTA4 tells you to take a walk to your next mission objective. Do that, and don't run. Watch as the traffic rushes by and the sun crawls in through the railway tracks above your head. Listen to the chatter, the yelling and the noise all around you. It's morning in Liberty City, the best gaming world ever created. Sure, there will be repetitive missions, an overstretched story and lots of annoying phone-calls later on - but that walk, that moment right there? Game of the year, or maybe the decade.
MvK says: GTA IV may not have been liked by everyone, but those of us who went in with an open mind came away with a heartfelt tale of war, betrayal, hate, cruelty, revenge, redemption and the immigrant experience. Chastising it for being what it is would be akin to chastising The Godfather II for not being as fun to watch as Goodfellas.
1. Fallout 3
What we said: "Fallout 3 almost effortlessly succeeds in its central aim of reviving a much-loved brand to appeal to the vast majority of players. It's a thrilling, all-consuming experience that will absorb you for weeks, whether you're attracted by the action, the adventure, or the role-playing, as you fall in love with the relentless excitement, incredible atmosphere, sense of place and sheer choice."
johnboy_johsnon says: Expansive without losing you in its vastness.
Rhodri says: Find it difficult to put this second, the game is outstanding, many games talk about the multiple ways you can do something but never deliver. This does, and then some. The story is great, the characters... well there's loads of them but the main ones are awesome. Also, Charon is the dog's bollocks. The game racked up a lot of hours and is amazing value for money, side-quests never felt as if I was doing them for the sake of it they fit in with your exploration during the main quest and are amazing fun. The game is just shit hot.
kkgrandi says: Offers an incredibly interesting view of the future with the locations and people to accommodate it. Incredible depth and many alternatives of action make this a unique masterpiece.
von_Doll says: Oblivion with guns!
TheBrow says: It's Oblivion with guns, innit? I loved Oblivion!
Petrarch says: A worthy game in its own right as well as a fine addition to the Fallout legacy. The feeling of it being Oblivion with guns soon departs with the first view of the landscape and has one of the greatest character creation tutorials ever seen.
Hamflank says: You can punch people's heads off."
Farzlepot says: In the beginning, there was anger. Why was VATS such a hollow experience when they said it was great? Why did the weapons handle like staple guns? Then, seven hours later, I was trapped in a remarkably endearing nuclear wasteland, from which I still haven't escaped to this day.
Kanon says: The world of Fallout 3 is desperate and decaying whilst simultaneously enthralling and beautiful. I got lost in there for ninety hours and will be returning when the DLC rolls round.
CaptainBinky says: Graphically, the world is stunning and amazingly the 'real-time, turn-based combat' that sounded like it'd never work, works really well. Unfortunately, it suffers from Oblivion-style charmless characters, awful awful voice acting, and a world so bleak and depressing that it's impossible to love it more than 4th [in my list].
Luckyjim says: Post-apocalyptic Oblivion with the blackest of black humour. My type of game.
RunningMan says: Great open world game, shame about the end.
Markusdragon says: When most companies try to modernise a classic, they fail miserably. What Bethesda has done, on the other hand, is not merely resurrect a franchise, but to bring it the success and popularity it always deserved.
TardKommando says: Balancing the desires of the fanatical Fallout fanbase with the Elder Scrolls lineage was never going to be easy for Bethesda. That they executed their vision of the franchise so well makes this game all the more remarkable. Character development, entertaining combat, atmosphere and visuals are all present and correct. But these take a back seat to Fallout 3's true strength, the exploration. For those who like seeing what's over the next hill, the rewards have seldom been bettered by any game. Life-affirming brilliance? Confirmed.
xvtc says: Perhaps it's not truly a Fallout game, but still a fantastic RPG nonetheless.
Sorbicol says: The largest, most open and most well-realised gaming world I've yet encountered. The story drives you forward, the characters you meet are well-rounded and believable even when they fall into stereotype, and you always just want to travel that little bit further to see what's over the next hill. Badly let down by bugs though!
vFreak says: Brilliant atmosphere with excellent combat & character progression. The best RPG since Baldur's Gate.
Rayn says: Non-linear mission structure, great dialogue, good plot, epic and atmospheric setting, Dogmeat, good use of the good/evil routes.
orakio says: Hail to the successor of Oblivion and the early-nineties strategic RPGs that were loved and hated by many. Fallout 3 captured the atmosphere of the first game perfectly, while using Oblivion's excellent engine to make the vast scenery of the post-nuclear world come to life. It also steadily improves on the lacking gameplay and broken levelling system that Oblivion had. Many might not like it for various reasons, but to me, this is the game of the year 2008.
udat says: The scope, immersiveness, and sheer amount of choice available to you is astonishing. One of the first choices you encounter is perhaps the biggest I have seen in any game: 'nuke this town or not'. Staggering.
Wrong! Or is it? Find out what we think in the Eurogamer Top 50 Games of 2008, starting on 27th December.